In New Zealand, Mercedes sells no less than 28 different models. That’s excluding their commercial vans. But everything from hatchbacks to SUVs, sports cars and the Maybach, Mercedes has a car for everyone.
Except for those wanting a posh ute. That is, until now. The X-Class Concept is basically a thinly disguised concept of what you’ll be able at Merc showrooms in the not too distant future.
Like the two concepts you see here, the production X-Class will come in two versions. There’ll be a the standard road-going model with lots of standard Mercedes luxuries and there’ll be a more rugged version to deal with harsher terrains and zombie apocalypses.
There’s no hiding the fact that the X-Class will be based on the same platform as the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan utes. Like the Nissan and Renault, it’ll be a ladder frame chassis with a MacPherson strut setup up front. At the rear there’s a bespoke five-link suspension setup.
The X-Class will also use Nissan’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, including the 2.3-litre turbo diesel found in the Navara. High-end models will get a diesel Merc V6. Buyers will get the choice of rear-wheel drive models or 4WD versions with Marc’s 4Matic system. Towing capacity is rated at 3500kg. No plans for an AMG model though, for now.
From the outside there’s no mistaking this for anything other than a Mercedes. It’s got Merc’s current corporate face, though the simple styling details and surfaces put it more in line with the V-Class than say, the GLC-Class.
Mercedes currently only plans to sell the X-Class as a double-cab ute. Mirroring the exterior, the interior of the X-Class leans towards Merc’s commercial vehicles than their passenger cars. It’s more V-Class than S-Class, however there are some touches carried over from their passenger cars such as the floating-style screen and the controls for the COMAND system.
Despite its rugged utilitarian purposes, the X-Class is still a Mercedes so top-end tech and safety is to be excepted. As well as the COMAND system, the X-Class is expected to get a raft of radar, camera, and passive safety tech to ensure it meets Merc’s standards. A shame then that the gearstick is very clearly from the Navara, just covered in silver plastic.
Mercedes says they’re aiming the X-Class as a lifestyle vehicle and thus, will come with a range of options and accessories to suit different buyers’ needs. But let’s be honest, people will be buying this ute primarily for the Mercedes badge.
The X-Class will be sold in various markets such as Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and South America. It’ll be made in the same factory as the Nissan and Renault utes in Spain.
So what do you think of the X-Class? New Zealand is going to be an important market for it, do you think it’ll do well here?